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‘We’re here to care for them:’ Valley Inn workers offer helping hand to Miller workers

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MILWAUKEE -- It is hard to wrap your head around the shootings that took place at the Miller Brewery -- especially for those with a personal connection to the victims.

When the first shift ends at Miller, a group of regulars head a few blocks down the road to raise a glass at Valley Inn. What is normally a favorite place to celebrate is now a place to cope.

The lunch day rush is not the same. The chairs along the bar, empty.

"I can feel it. Something is missing inside," said Barbara Orban, an employee at Valley Inn.

Barbara Orban

Orban has been pouring taps at Valley Inn for more than 20 years -- serving up High Life to workers who have earned a title -- above regular.

"They're family," Orban said.

That Miller family was at the bar to cheer another workday done when the bad news hit.

"It was tragic when we got that call," Orban said. "Everybody went silent. It was all disbelief and shock."

The silence outlasted the lockdown.

"Nobody knew what to say. Nobody knew what to do. I wanted to run up there, but you couldn't," Orban said.

The shock is now replaced with sorrow and empty seats -- which is why Valley Inn is open and Orban is back behind the bar, serving up something on the menu.

"We're here to care for them, love them, whatever they need," Orban said.

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